Updated: April 2019
“My Beloved Homewood”
Homewood is one of the unique buildings in the historic Montfort District, resembling more a castle or an English stone manor than a typical 1920s mansion.
Built in 1922, Homewood was the private residence of Dr. Robert Sproul Carroll (1869-1949), a well-known psychiatrist, and his second wife Grace Potter Carroll (1883-1978), who after their marriage in 1918 joined him in Asheville from Chicago IL.
The design of Homewood or My Beloved Homewood, as Dr. Carroll called his magnificent residence, was probably heavily influenced by his time at Duke University.
In 1904, Dr. Carroll left Duke University, moved to Asheville and founded the Dr. Carroll’s Sanatorium in downtown. It specialized in the treatment of mental, and nervous disorders based on exercise, diet and occupational therapy, attracting patients from across the country.
In 1909, Dr. Carroll moved his growing sanatorium to a site with plenty of space for the treatment of his patients. He found this site up the street from the Rumbough House.
After 1912, the Dr. Carroll’s Sanatorium became known as the Highland Hospital.
Homewood, situated to the south of the Rumbough House, was constructed of uncoursed stone masonry with an asymmetrical façade and an entrance, which was deeply recessed beneath a basket arch capped with a massive keystone.
Then around 1925, a medieval turret was added to the structure, followed in 1934 by a 1,500 square-foot (139 m²) two-story, cherry wood-paneled piano room for Dr. Carroll’s wife Grace.
In 1939, Dr. Carroll donated all of the property associated with the Highland Hospital to Duke University, but remained a director until 1944, after which Duke University completely took over all operations.
By 1943, Homewood became a nurse’s residence for the hospital.
Dr. Carroll died in June of 1949 at age 80.
In the 1960s, the building was converted to classrooms for the hospital.
Duke University sold the property in 1981.
Today, the home is an event and conference center.
Grace Potter Carroll (1883-1978)
Grace Stewart Potter went to Vienna, Austria, in 1908 to study the piano with the famous Austrian-Polish pianist, professor and composer Theodor Leschetizky (1830-1915).
In the early 1900s, Theodor Leschetizky had created one of the most eminent private piano schools in the world and taught many of the famous pianists, including the renowned Ignacy Paderewski (1860-1941), who moved to California in 1914.
During Grace’s five years in Vienna and Europe, she also took on the role of an assistant teacher to Theodor Leschetizky.
After her return from Europe in May of 1913, Grace became head of the piano department of the Bush Temple Conservatory of Music in Chicago IL, giving piano lessons to students, until her marriage to Dr. Carroll brought her to Asheville in 1918.
Once in Asheville, Grace ran a music school at their house, from which she gave piano lessons and held performances. The residence quickly became known as the “musical center of Asheville”. It is said that Béla Bartóck (1881-1945), regarded as Hungary’s greatest composer, gave private piano concerts at Homewood.
Today, the piano room is called the Ballroom and is popular with weddings.
19 Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801
STREET VIEWING ONLY. Private property.
Public bus stop: Montford Ave at Zillicoa St.